Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Obscurity of the Day: Animal Alphabet

Here's a series that made it only two episodes. Given the length of the alphabet there really wasn't anywhere else to go after the second episode. Animal Alphabet ran on March 10th and 17th of 1901 in the New York World. It marks the first known writing credit for a Sunday funnies series to Carolyn Wells, who later penned the great Adventures of Lovely Lilly, and many magazine cover series, including Flossy Frills. Am I bringing too much of a 2010 sensibility to this or is Ms. Wells doing a little not-all-that covert gay-bashing in some of the verses here?

The artist is the always delightful William F. Marriner, who did a very short stint at the World, only about eight months in 1901 (and he moonlighted with McClure part of that time). Only a few of Marriner's series have been covered on the blog thus far, a criminal oversight I'll work on correcting. Here's Johnnie Bostonbeans and The House of Mirth.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the scan!


Love it!
Can you tell me what the hare's saying in D?
Hi Glenn -
On the original hi-res scan the tiny text is legible. Unfortunately not all that interesting -- "Well, Wouldn't That Bump You?"

Best, Allan
OK, I have no clue what that means! I guess it's 1901 slang for... ? Thanks for the detective work!
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